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Belgian actor Eric Kabongo plays one of the main roles in the German comedy Willkommen bei den Hartmanns. The film has recently been topping the charts in Germany and has launched Kabongo’s international career.
In Willkommen bei den Hartmanns, Kabongo plays Diallo, a Nigerian refugee who is offered a home by a well-off Munich family. He soon makes friends with the family members, but they are tested when they have to face racism, bureaucracy and suspicions of terrorism because of him. The comedy passed the 500,000-admissions mark in its opening weekend and is currently at number one in the German charts.
Matthijs Vleugels’s documentary feature Silent Wilderness is to have its world premiere at Amsterdam’s International Documentary Film Festival, which runs until November 27. Also at IDFA, Ben Asamoah’s new project Sakawa has been selected for Forum, the festival’s co-production platform.
Screening as part of the Panorama section, Silent Wilderness explores the emotional pain of a couple whose adopted Korean son went missing in the woods of Hungary 13 years ago. Producer of the film is Peter Krüger of Inti Films, who is also attending IDFA’s Forum to present Sakawa.
Pieter-Jan De Pue’s hybrid documentary The Land of the Enlightened is one of the nominees for Best European Documentary at this year’s European Film Awards. Another of the five contenders is A Family Affair by Tom Fassaert, which was co-produced with Flanders. The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on December 10.
The European Film Academy (EFA) unveiled this year’s nominees on Sunday November 6 at the Seville European Film Festival. The Documentary category includes Pieter-Jan De Pue’s debut feature The Land of the Enlightened, a cinematic journey into the beauty of war-torn Afghanistan where Kuchi children wage their own mini-wars.
Kenneth Mercken’s short film Feel Sad for the Bunny has been selected for the Guanajuato International Film Festival in Mexico, where it is to have its international premiere as part of the Oscar-qualifying Short Film Competition. The festival line-up also includes D: 729., an animated short by Levi Stoops; and Johan Grimonprez’s documentary Shadow World, which was co-produced with Flanders.
Feel Sad For the Bunny follows 12-year-old Remy who lives with his older brother Bruno and their au pair, Mihaela. Despite the age difference, Remy has a secret crush on Mihaela. But things threaten to explode between the brothers when Bruno also takes an interest in her.
In addition to Felix van Groeningen’s Belgica and the short film Flower of a Thousand Colours, the line-up of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (1-9 July) also includes Wim Vandekeybus’s Galloping Mind and The Land of the Enlightened by Pieter-Jan De Pue. Geoffrey Enthoven’s 2011 hit Come As You Are has also been picked for one the festival’s thematic sections.
Galloping Mind is part of ‘Another View’, a collection of notable contemporary films. In Vandekeybus’s feature, a twin brother and sister are separated at birth, neither knowing about the other’s existence. Pieter-Jan De Pue’s The Land of the Enlightened is scheduled to screen in the 'Horizons' section.
Pieter-Jan De Pue’s debut feature The Land of the Enlightened has won two awards at the Tarkovsky Film Festival in Russia. The hybrid documentary about Afghan children picked up both the Audience and the Professional Achievement awards.
In presenting the first-time director with the festival’s Professional Achievement Award, the jury cited the way in which De Pue’s experience as a photographer had influenced his work as a film director. In addition, The Land of the Enlightened was also the winner of the Audience Award.
Director Felix van Groeningen will be this year’s Master for Future Frames, the initiative hosted by the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and European Film Promotion to promote upcoming film talents. The 10 Future Frames participants – among them Flemish filmmaker Karen Vázquez Guadarrama – will be able to attend a masterclass given by van Groeningen. His latest film Belgica is part of the Official Selection at the Festival.
The director of The Broken Circle Breakdown and The Misfortunates will not only give a masterclass but will also share his wide-ranging experience in filmmaking with the young filmmakers selected for Future Frames’ second edition. During an intensive two-day programme, the 10 emerging professionals will be introduced to the media and film industry, while their short films will be presented to the festival audience.
Black, directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, is set to receive its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which celebrates its 70th edition from 15-26 June. The contemporary Romeo & Juliet story has been selected for European Perspectives, a collection of Europe’s foremost films. The Edinburgh programme also includes Johan Grimonprez’s latest documentary, Shadow World, a co-production with Flanders.
It is nearly a year since Black started its festival career at the Toronto International Film Festival (where it won the Discovery Award), before moving on to festivals in Ghent, Gijon, Marrakech, Goteborg, Dublin, Vilnius and Budapest.
Pieter-Jan De Pue’s debut feature The Land of the Enlightened has been selected for the Grand Jury Competition at the Sheffield Doc/Fest (10-15 June). De Pue’s mix of fiction and documentary about children in Afghanistan is set to receive its British premiere at the festival, whose programme also contains several co-productions with Flanders including the documentary features A Family Affair and Strike a Pose, and the short films Figure and Pulse.
The Land of the Enlightened is one of 12 films selected for the Grand Jury Competition, a selection of the best documentaries chosen from the line-up. The film will be competing for the Grand Jury Award worth £2,000.
The short documentary film Flower of a Thousand Colours by Karen Vázquez Guadarrama has been selected for the Future Frames programme (4-5 July) at the International Film Festival of Karlovy Vary. The annual initiative, in collaboration with European Film Promotion (EFP), shines the spotlight on 10 upcoming film talents. Flower of a Thousand Colours is the second Flemish short in a row to be selected for Future Frames.
Karen Vázquez Guadarrama graduated from the School of Arts in Ghent with her short film Flower of a Thousand Colours which tells the story of Emiliana, a single mother trying to survive in a remote Bolivian mining camp 4,897 metres above sea level.